App developer Lookiimedia has released Mycena, a new password management app for both Android and iOS devices that delivers three levels of encrypted security for free.
Designed for non-technical users to make saving and retrieving passwords fast and painless, Mycena provides up to three levels of password security, free for the first five passwords. Additional password storage is available via small one-time payments rather than monthly or annual subscription fees.
Mycena uses fingerprint, voice and face keys, with each encrypted key opening a successive level of security, to protect passwords and other sensitive information, such as bank account details, that needs to be kept safe and secure. For devices that do not have built-in fingerprint recognition, Mycena uses a PIN as its first level of security, then progresses through voice and face keys to provide the additional levels of security.
Lookiimedia director Julia O’Toole says the impetus to develop Mycena came from talking to friends and colleagues who were frustrated with existing password management solutions.
“Today pretty much everybody needs to remember multiple passwords for their email, their bank account, online shopping at Amazon and suchlike. Lots of my friends were complaining about having to remember all their passwords and not being able to find a convenient, simple, non-technical app that would let them do it easily and securely. Some, in desperation, were even resorting to keeping lists of passwords in Excel spreadsheets or text documents.”
“The one thing that people pretty much always have on them these days is their smart phone, so we wanted something that would run on their personal device and not rely on a cloud-based service. There’s a conventional wisdom that suggests cloud-based password solutions are the most secure, but there’s been enough hacks and ransomware events to show that cloud solutions are not infallible,” says O’Toole.
Mycena can be used on multiple devices including a mix of Android and iOS, and passwords can be synchronised via Mycena’s cloud service. However, O’Toole says the company recommends that users delete the cloud copy of their passwords once synchronisation is complete.
“Even though the Cloud is 99.99% safe and passwords are encrypted, making it more difficult for a hacker to crack, we think keeping all the passwords in the same vault on the Cloud automatically makes it an attractive target for hackers – just like robbers used to like to rob banks because that’s where most of the cash was kept.”
“Most people keep their own keys and make duplicates in case they lose their keys – they don't let their key cutter keep a copy of their keys. Likewise, people should keep their own passwords and make a copy – as long as they are safely protected and secured. That way the risk of hacking is distributed and the chances of a massive security breach are reduced. Although the passwords are encrypted – even we can’t see a copy – we always advise our customers to delete their passwords from the cloud when they are finished with synchronisation,” says O’Toole.
Mycena is free to download and store the first five passwords. As more password storage is required, users can buy expansion packs of 20, 50 or 120 passwords for one-time fees of $4.49, $7.49 and $14.99 respectively.